People visit the altar for victims of the 1945 atomic bombing in the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima in this file photo. (Photo: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP)
Hiroshima Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki has asked Pope Francis to visit the atomic-bombed city and send a message of peace to the world.
Yuzaki made the call during the pope’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square. He also met with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin to relay his hope for a visit to Hiroshima by the pope, Kyodo News reported.
"Hiroshima is a symbol of reconstruction, hope and peace. The pope’s visit would attract worldwide attention and provide a chance for everybody to think about abolition of nuclear weapons," Yuzaki said after the audience.
The pope has constantly called for nuclear disarmament. If a trip to Hiroshima is realized, it would be the first papal visit to Japan since Pope John Paul II in 1981.
Japan’s bishops have been inviting Pope Francis since he became pope, but this might be the invite that actually works.
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